In Time for the Holidays

Explain the Economy

I couldn’t pass this up. There’s a blog entry on the economy.

  1.  The first part is an old depression era film explaining inflation. It’s probably done in the 1930’s, and there’s a professor explaining the stuff with charts.
  2. The other is some gentleman explaining how Uncle Sam will aid the economy.

Now I’m not endorsing these spokesmen, nor am I saying they have all the answers – far from it. But this stuff is funny. So let’s get on the You Tube video bandwagon, and watch these movies, at Explain the Economy (  As an added bonus, please enjoy this cartoon on “How not to reduce direct mail spend” at…


It’s a Wonderful Life


It’s a Wonderful Life ( is a great movie. If you click the video link I provided, there’s a chance to view it – in its entirety. Before T.N.T. brought the movie rights, tons of stations played it. In fact, things were so bad… How bad were they, you might ask? If I missed a part on station A, I could see it again on station B. They were all aired simultaneously. It’s a great movie, but “enough in enough”.

There is this angel trying to earn a set of wings. They’re not easy to get, especially for a bumbling fool. So our hero reaches a moment of existential despair. He wishes he were never born. Next we see a town where every person he helped has reached rock bottom. The town that could have been, is a cesspool of depravity. Potterville makes Los Vegas look tame by comparison. Yet everything comes together, just in time for the holidays.

A Christmas Story

T.N.T. airs this movie for twenty-four continuous hours. This kid wants a BB gun, and everyone says, “You shoot your eye out kid.” Does this deter our young hero? Not in the least! One could argue all the naysayers only enhance his determinism. He must have the gun at all costs. Maybe the gun is just as important to him, as the naked lady lamp – with a big leg base – remains for his dad. Who could forget the family venturing to a Chinese restaurant on Christmas, listening to the Chinese staff sing jingle bells? I, for one, am finally relieved when Santa gave the kid a BB gun.


A Christmas Carol


There are a few renditions of this story. During my tenure with the Peace Corps – stationed at a Catholic Mission school in Liberia, West Africa – I taught math and literature. A Christmas Carol was one story dissected by our high school students, along with the various spirits. In Liberia, traditional spirits included distilled sugar cane, and a mediocre Liberian brew. The only decent brew was imported Heineken beer.

Well, back to the movie. Scrooge was an outstanding businessman, but a poor example for a humanitarian. He would have made today’s millionaires and billionaires proud, with his outstanding business success. Yet he was a true capitalist, who hated the government programs to aid poor people. His taxes shouldn’t pay for these measures. But some highly spirited visits change his mind.


Christ in Christmas


Many people would disagree with me, but let’s honor Christ here. At least hold him up as a measure of how people should embrace love. Now in case you wonder, I am a conservative Anglican (much like CS Lewis), but learn much from other Christian traditions.


  • With the Eastern Orthodox, I see a different way to view original sin, Eucharist, and being made in the image/likeness of God.



  • With the Roman Catholic (along with some major Protestant denominations), I see how to view dialogue and relationships with people of other faiths.



  • With the Christian Scientists, I see how to view God’s omnipresence and goodness – yet stop short of abandoning traditional and alternative medical approaches, or creating an alternative theology.


Happy holidays everyone!

Randy Kemp




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